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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Be Consistently Good Instead Of Occasionally Great 0-19

Be Consistently Good Instead Of Occasionally Great

How many people do you know who consistently fail to make any progress because they are always trying to leap past all the folks who are actually working? I’m sad to say I know more than a few.
Our business world is filled with aspirational mumbo-jumbo, from the posters put up by HR to the latest pep talk given by your newest boss. Everyone aspires to be the best of the best. Besides Avis, I can’t think of a business that advertised the fact it was number two.
That having been said, I’d be thrilled to: have a book that’s number two on the New York Times bestseller list, help a client go from a startup to number two in their industry, or have one of my kids be number two in his or her class.
(To make sure you get the point and don’t get hung up on the number two, I’d be thrilled to be number nine on the bestseller list.)
I’m not suggesting you aim low; I’m suggesting you aim for consistent excellence rather than once-every-five-years brilliance. Try setting your sights on being trustworthy, reliable, persistent and expert. Instead of trying to be the superstar, be the person on whom others can consistently depend.
Our world loves sports, and most sports are a zero-sum game; one team wins, and the other loses. But this is a horrible model for our increasingly interconnected world. We need to stop glorifying winners and teaching our young people to admire only the Olympic gold medalist or the World Champions. It is far better to encourage someone to embody the Olympic work ethic than to brainwash them that the only path to success is to beat everyone else.
99.9% of us won’t beat everyone else. We won’t be great in the sense that we vanquish all others. But we still can be great in the sense that we consistently do our best and help others in a meaningful way.
Give me 20 people who are consistently good and we can change the world. The same is true for you. Align yourself with people who care more about progress than pride, who have a bigger work ethic than ego. Get stuff done. Get excited by what you achieve, and share that excitement with others.
While someone else is aiming for the stars, you will actually make a meaningful difference in our world and in the lives of people with whom you interact.

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